Geoffrey Chaucer Background. Father of English Poetry Chaucer has often been called “the father of English poetry,” a phrase that makes him sound like.

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Geoffrey Chaucer Background Slide 2 Father of English Poetry Chaucer has often been called the father of English poetry, a phrase that makes him sound like a stuffy sort of writer. Slide 3 The Language Chaucers masterpieceis anything but stuffy. In fact, its realistic language and coarse humor prompted critics to call Chaucer everything from observant to contemptible. Slide 4 Man of the World Chaucer was a man of the world who knew how a variety of people spoke and acted. This knowledge was invaluable to his writing. Slide 5 Family Born in London into a middle- class wine merchants family, he became a page in the royal household while still a teenager, probably around the age of 17. Despite the lowly duties of the jobmaking beds, carrying candles, running errandsthe position offered Chaucer exposure to a world of fine manners and high-born people. Slide 6 The World A few years later, he saw more of the world when he served in a military campaign in France. While in his twenties, Chaucer was made a court official, an appointment that was the start of many years of public service. During his career, he traveled abroad on diplomatic missions and was therefore exposed both French and Italian literature and culture. Slide 7 Rest of Chaucers life For the rest of his life, he held a variety of government posts. Some other facts about Geoffrey Chaucerhe was the clerk of the kings works a post in which he supervised the maintenance royal buildings and parks. When he moved from London to Kent, he served as a representative to Parliament. He was always considered a commoner. Slide 8 Writings Despite these busy professional duties, Chaucer managed to create a large body of writing. His work is often divided into three distinct periods. His early poetry, which is influenced by the French medieval tradition, includes the Book of the Duchess Romaunt of the Rose Slide 9 Later, he wrote the Parliament of Fowls Troilus and Cressida Slide 10 His most mature writing, crafted in his forties, includes the: Legend of Good Women The Canterbury Tales Slide 11 Masterpiece The Canterbury Tales is considered Chaucers masterpiece for several reasons: First, it marks the beginning of a new tradition; Chaucer was the first writer to use English in a major literary work. Before him, literature was composed in French or Latin. Slide 12 Contd Secondly, because The Canterbury Tales focuses on an assortment of people who are thrown together on a journey, it gives a lifelike and engaging picture of a cross section of society during the 1300s. Finally, it is an outstanding literature achievement. Slide 13 Lines Chaucer created approximately 17,000 lines of vivid poetry, which still attract new readers centuries later. Slide 14 Birth and Death Geoffrey Chaucer was born about 1342 and died on October 25, 1400. Note: Other historians have him being born in London around 1340. Although Chaucer was considered a commoner, he was buried in Westminster Abbey in honor of his lifelong contributions to England. Slide 15 Twenty-Nine Pilgrims In Chaucers work twenty- nine pilgrims travel to Canterbury to visit the shrine of St. Thomas Becket. When Chaucers pilgrims first meet, at an inn, their hosts suggests they tell stories to pass the time. Their stories become the main part of The Canterbury Tales. Slide 16 Real Characters Chaucers pilgrims are well-rounded characters with personalities and pasts. As one critic said, Not a whisper, not a wart, is omitted. Slide 17 Occupations of Fourteenth Century Society The pilgrims occupations reflect different aspects of fourteenth- century society: Feudel System: Knight, Squire, Yeoman, Franklin, Plowman, Miller, Reeve Religious Life: Nun, Monk, Friar, Cleric, Parson, Summoner, Pardoner Trades of Profession: Merchant, Sergeant at the Law, Five Tradesman, Cook, Skipper, Doctor, Wife of Bath, Manciple, Host Slide 18 Frame Story The Canterbury Tales, uses a frame tale, a story that provides a vehicle, or frame, for telling other stories. The frame is about a pilgrimage, a trip made to a holy place for religious reasons or just for fun and adventure. Slide 19 The Language of Chaucer Chaucer spoke in Middle English, the result of mixing Old English of the Anglo Saxons with the Old French of the Normans. The grammar and vocabulary might seem the same, but certain pronunciations are different. For example, the e of Modern English was a separate audible syllable in many English words. Slide 20 The Prologues Opening Lines Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote When April with his showers sweet with fruit The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, The drought of March has pierced unto the root And bathed every veyne in swich licour And bathed each vein with liquor that has power Of which vertu engendred is the flour, To generate therein and sire the flower; Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath, Inspired hath in every holt and heeth Quickened again, in every holt and heath, The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun Slide 21 Pilgrimages Pilgrim means traveler, and many religions encourage believers to travel to holy places to show devotion or to seek divine help for problems. People would undertake a pilgrimage for many different reasons. The motivation for most would be a combination of three closely interrelated reasons: Firstly, people desired to see and touch places and objects that were considered holy. This might involve travelling to view places associated with Jesus or it might be to view relics of a favorite saint. The purpose of this pilgrimage was to attempt to make the object of faith more real. Secondly, people visited holy sites to make amends for having committed sin. By doing a pilgrimage as a penance, they hoped for forgiveness. These pilgrimages might have been for private reasons or for public reasons. They may have been voluntary or they may have been forced. Finally, people went on a pilgrimage for the simple pleasure of travelling. In a world that offered precious few opportunities to experience the world beyond the horizon, pilgrimage was an exciting, challenging opportunity to leave village life behind.see and touchhoped for forgivenesspleasure of travelling Slide 22 Tabard Inn Slide 23 Slide 24 Bibliography http://pages.towson.edu/duncan/c haucer/duallang1.htm http://pages.towson.edu/duncan/c haucer/duallang1.htm http://www.internationalschooltou louse.net/vs/pilgrims/motive.htm# The need to see and touch Glencoe Literature: British Literature. The Readers Choice: Texas Edition. http://www.librarius.com/chauchr o.htm http://www.librarius.com/chauchr o.htm Chaucers Canterbury Tales (Selected): An Interlinear Translation http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/hist oric_figures/becket_thomas.shtml

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